Environment and sustainability

Empathy Academy


Who is behind this?

Zuzana Stanová

Aliancia združení na ochranu zvierat




Idea pitch

The issue in the field of animal rights protection is often underestimated and perceived as a marginal issue not affecting everyone. At the same time, it is a matter of protecting the public interest, consisting of protection against violent crime and damage to the environment. The topic of animal protection is missing in the state educational process and it is necessary to create projects for children and young people that would be able to respond effectively to these problems.

Where will your project idea take place?

Western Slovakia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Animal cruelty is a huge problem in Slovakia. In many cases a person who can harm an animal in a particularly cruel way has been shown to be potentially dangerous to humans. Unfortunately, in some cases, minor children are also in the position of bullies. They not only perform these acts, but often even upload them and share them on social networks. Therefore, we perceive the lack of empathy for living beings and the increased degree of aggression towards them as a social problem. As part of the school teaching process, children learn about living nature, which also includes animals, but it remains only at the zoological level. There is no space to speak about a ecosystem and the fact that we are part of one planet together with other animals. We need to respect, protect a preserve them.

Who are you doing it for?

The target group will be primary school students, handicapped children and children from children's homes, to whom we will offer high quality out of school activities. Modern school equipment of the Academy (interactive board, online lessons) will enable and contribute to the improvement of perception and learning and will help to apply the principles of real illustration. Training will take place in the form of lessons or individual lectures, led by professional lecturers with authentic experience in the field of animal protection.

How do you plan to get there?

In our project we want to bring the issue of animal protection and care closer to children and young people. With a positive example, relevant information, quality training equipment and methodological materials we want to awake empathy and awareness in children and fact that animals are part of the environment and are sentient beings. Our education should serve, in particular, as a prevention against violence actions. Although most such acts are committed by adults, we are convinced that the main reason is that they were not sufficiently educated in the animal protection and were not instilled with empathy for living being and nature. The aim of the project is also to create a network of „children's animal ombudsmans“ who will spread the knowledge among their peers or family.

What are the expected results?

The target group are children of primary schools aged 6 to 12 in selected regions of western Slovakia. The aim is to educate them on knowledge and empathy on environmental protection and animal care. In this target group we want to reduce the potential aggression towards living beings. The role of educational activities is to reduce the level of violence behavior towards animals by minors. The results are not only an education towards empathinc future genarations but also a network of young and angaged people who can thereofre serve as a role models and potential changemakers in this area among their friends and community.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The aim of the project will be to increase civic engagement in the field of violence prevention through an awareness-raising campaign. Our country needs less violence and more social commitment, active young people who want to do something for the benefit of the society in which they live and where they will raise their children. The supporters of animal protection organizations are currently mainly animal lovers, and with this campaign we want to reach out and expand our circles to those who condemn violence, any phenomena of cruelty and have an internal motivation to prevent such acts on any, living and feeling beeing.

Why is this idea important to you?

The primary target group in the association's existence so far have been mainly non-governmental organizations for the protection of animals. Especially in the field of consulting and raising legal awareness. Secondly, we want to focus on raising awareness and sensitizing the public and reaching out to children, young people, teachers and parents so that the correlation between violence against humans and animals is most importantly understood. Violence cannot be relativized, pointed out and condemned only in certain extreme social cases, for example by publishing drastic images of brutally abused animals on social media.

€ 60000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs: 32.000, 00 EUR
Volunteer costs: 3.500, 00 EUR
Classroom equipment and expences: 11.000, 00 EUR
Publishing and promotional expenses: 3.500 EUR


Erika Dupejova

Idea created on May 26, 2020

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